As economies across the globe continue to contract, navies, armies, and air forces are being told, if not, “do more with less” to at least “do the same with less.” Proceedings thus asked sea-service commanders around the world: What innovative efficiencies and economies are you implementing, or considering implementing, to improve force readiness?
Vice Admiral DJ Ezeoba
The Gulf of Guinea remains persistently challenged by myriad threats directed mainly at the economic lifelines of its littoral and landlocked states. As a major stakeholder, the Nigerian Navy has obligatorily reshaped its strategy to address extant maritime-security challenges. In the face of harsh economic realities, innovative measures characterized by resource prioritization, and the realignment of our operational architecture have become imperative for improved efficiency.
The focus under our current strategic guidance emphasizes improved efficiency through fleet recapitalization/readiness, robust training, and professionalism anchored on best practices. Operational efficiency is hinged on enhanced surveillance capabilities, response initiative, and enforcement. The attainment of those core attributes is driven by the tenets of integrated maritime domain awareness, sustained presence at sea, and collaboration and cooperation in joint and combined settings between services and allied navies within the Gulf of Guinea sub-region.
Accordingly, offshore patrol vessels and coastal-patrol craft with multitask capabilities are the focal point of our fleet regeneration effort, which is aimed at improving the navy’s policing capability. Similarly, domestication of construction capability for those classes of vessels is cost effective and is yielding desirable results.
Of equal concern is the cross-border nature of current maritime-security threats, which has compelled our collaboration/cooperation with the Republic of Benin, leading to a sustained presence in our shared maritime space under a combined patrol arrangement, Operation Prosperity. The resulting reduction in attacks on shipping in our common maritime areas has been encouraging thus far. As one of the few navies in the Gulf of Guinea with force-projection capabilities, our navy is committed to renewed collaborative efforts with Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, and other maritime stakeholders. We also remain subscribed to the Africa Partnership Station and its objective of achieving operational synergy and improved capacity of navies in the West African sub-region.
In the immediate future, the Nigerian Navy intends to build on its current transformation efforts and the continued support of government to sustain recapitalization and further development of local construction capacity. Through a strategic partnership we can ensure capacity use of our shipyards to attain the desired end-state of optimal efficiency.